Brian Keene was born in 1967. He grew up in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and many of his books take place in these locales. After graduating high school, he served as a radioman in the U.S. Navy onboard an LPD. After his obligated enlistment ended, Keene worked a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time writer. Among them were stints as a foundry worker, truck driver, data entry clerk, dockworker, telemarketer, customer service representative, repo man, bouncer, disc jockey, salesman, store manager, daycare instructor, custodian, and more. In interviews, he credits this diverse background as the key to the three-dimensional characters that populate his books.
Keene has won two Bram Stoker Awards. One in 2001 for non-fiction Jobs In Hell and one in 2003 for first novel The Rising. He is also the recipient of the 2004 Shocker Award for non-fiction Sympathy for the Devil as well as many small and regional awards. He has been featured in the New York Times, The Village Voice, Publishers Weekly, Rue Morgue magazine, Fangoria magazine, and participated in a documentary for the History Channel. David Letterman once based a skit on a party at Keene's home.
In addition to being a prolific writer, Keene is also a popular public speaker, and has been invited to speak at a number of libraries, high schools, bookstores, and conventions. He was also invited to speak at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in 2006 and 2007.
In 2004, The Rising was optioned for film and videogame adaptations. In 2005, City of the Dead was optioned for the same. In 2006, Terminal was optioned for film. Also in 2006, three stories from Keene's Fear of Gravity were adapted in the graphic novel Brian Keene's FEAR. The stories were "Castaways", "Red Wood", and the award-winning "The King, in: Yellow". In 2007, Ghoul was optioned for film. In 2008, the short story "The Ties That Bind" was optioned for film.
In 2004 and 2005, Keene spearheaded a successful Books For Troops program, in which various horror authors supplied free, signed books to American troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world. Keene was honored for this in 2005 by the 509th Logistics Fuels Flight Squadron based at Whiteman A.F.B. in Missouri.
In 2008, Marvel Comics announced that Keene would be writing for them. His first project for the company is the four-issue Dead of Night: Devil Slayer.
Keene currently lives in Pennsylvania.